Rally aims to curb increasing Indianapolis violence

Published: .
Updated: .

Police and community leaders headed up a rally Tuesday to stop the violence in Indianapolis.

According to IMPD Chief Rick Hite, for every one person murdered, another 100 people are affected. Hite made the comment during Tuesday's "Peace in the Streets" rally.

"We're at 53 murders in our community. Senseless murders," said one speaker who led the small, but vocal, group on East 38th Street near Rural Street. "Some mother's missing her son. Some sister's missing her brother. We must stop the violence in our community."

Violence that has touched Carol Starks personally.

"It changed my whole outlook on the world," said Starks, whose brother, Murry Suttle, was murdered two years ago. "It just let me know that I need to do more."

Through her organization, Project One Love, she tries to prevent the very kind of violence that devastated her family.

"We mentor the children. We have a reading program. The things in our community that our children lack, we try to provide as much as we can," said Starks.

The rally was held at the location where 36-year-old Ho Lee of Noblesville was murdered less than a month ago as he worked for a friend at a clothing store.

"We can only do it if we work together," said Olgen Williams, deputy mayor for neighborhoods.

So one-by-one, politicians, activists and even the police chief gave personal calls to action.

"We're not going to let the violence continue in this city. Is that right?" said Hite, sounding more like a preacher than a police officer. "I can't hear you. Is that right? Are we gonna do something about it?"

What he and many others hope is a rhetorical question.

"We're tired of the violence in our community," said a speaker who tried to inspire the crowd.

That, like this gathering, people will band together and make a peaceful change.

"We must stop the violence and the killing in our community," the speaker said.

There was a lot of talk at Tuesday's rally, but the hope is that talk will turn into action. Some of the ideas, and we've heard them before, are that young people need jobs, they need safe places to hang out, and maybe most important, they need positive role models in their lives.